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  #31  
Old 12-15-2009, 04:14 PM
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crisare crisare is offline
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I know this is a radical idea and all, but I would have just talked about the issue when it came up instead of letting it build to the point of resentment and anger. Been there, done that, really don't want the t-shirt.
Well the sarcasm really isn't necessary. Yes, we should have talked. No, we didn't. For a variety of reasons. That was my point. Sometimes people *don't* talk when they should - for any number of what-seem-valid-at-the-time reasons. And then what are small things build into big things and then feelings get hurt and then relationships are damaged.

It's really easy for someone from the outside to say "you should have done X" but until you've been in the situation, you really don't know what you're going to do.

Which is why, as I said, rules of some kind help set a guideline for what's expected.

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I am friends with doesn't have "house rules" because they don't tend to invite people into their home that are likely to do things to damage it or disrespect the people in it. If I let you into my home, it means I trust you. Why would I let you in if I don't trust you? If I don't know you well enough to trust you not to track mud onto my carpets or terrorize my cats, I probably shouldn't be letting you into my home in the first place.
That's just rude and insulting. So you're saying tht because we had issues, we're the type of people to disrespect someone else's house?

This was a lot more than about "tracking mud on carpets" and had to do with personal boundaries and limits and getting deeply involved in each other's lives. But I'm not going to explain it further to you.

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If you don't want to communicate with me about a problem I'm having with how you treat my home, well, we go back to the first solution and I kick you out.
Again, that's offensive.

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As Ceoli has already said several times, this is not the same thing as setting personal boundaries,
And perhaps we're talking at cross purposes about how Ceoli defines "rules" and how I (and some others in this thread) define "rules" ... but there's no need to imply that I and my husband are thoughless, selfish dolts who don't have the basic good manners to respect someone else's home. You have no idea what went on or what the circumstances were and I find your response to my example to be extremely offensive and hurtful.
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  #32  
Old 12-15-2009, 04:27 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Crisare, you were the one who brought up the whole roommate-situation-as-an-analogy-for-relationships and Joreth was taking that analogy and expanding on it.

I saw her reply not as suggesting that you were a bad houseguest and deserved to be kicked out, but as pointing out ways that the quality of communication can be responsible for success or failure of any interpersonal dynamic. She used the houseguest terminology to explore how she might deal with a similar real-life situation of her own.

This is really NOT about YOU.

Last edited by NeonKaos; 12-15-2009 at 04:50 PM.
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  #33  
Old 12-15-2009, 04:37 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by crisare View Post
It's really easy for someone from the outside to say "you should have done X" but until you've been in the situation, you really don't know what you're going to do.
As she said, she's been in that same position before. She then offers what changes she's made in expectations since.

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That's just rude and insulting. So you're saying tht because we had issues, we're the type of people to disrespect someone else's house?
She said no such thing. She offered hypotheticals to explain the reasoning behind her current approach to such things.

I believe you're reading far too much into what she's written.

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And perhaps we're talking at cross purposes about how Ceoli defines "rules" and how I (and some others in this thread) define "rules" ...
That, I believe, is exactly what's happening. The sort of boundaries Ceoli refers to, as I read it, involved such things as "You're getting too attached to him so you can't see him more than once a week" and the like--the attempt to place restrictions on a new relationship--and not boundaries to maintain the existing relationship, such as "We still have to have our regular date nights and family activities" that aren't attempts to control the other relationship. It's the attempt to control the other that I find objectionable.

Quote:
but there's no need to imply that I and my husband are thoughless, selfish dolts who don't have the basic good manners to respect someone else's home. You have no idea what went on or what the circumstances were and I find your response to my example to be extremely offensive and hurtful.
And I don't see where anybody implied anything negative about you and your husband. Indeed, I believe her underlying point was that you are reasonable folk and simply talking about issues would have resolved everything quickly and easily--and that when screening for house guests, that's exactly the type of people she'd allow in.

She can clarify her intent. I'm simply pointing out that I read her statements entirely differently. The hypotheticals weren't aimed at you, they were simply support for her approach to both house guests and relationships--that rules aren't truly necessary if everybody is reasonable and willing to communicate.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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  #34  
Old 12-15-2009, 04:52 PM
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crisare crisare is offline
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I put out a personal situation that actively happened in my life as an example - not a "hypopthetical" or an "analogy". I think I said enough in my example to indicate that this was a very hurtful time for me and for my husband.

To respond with :
Quote:
I am friends with doesn't have "house rules" because they don't tend to invite people into their home that are likely to do things to damage it or disrespect the people in it.
Implies that because we had issues because we are the type of people who are "likely to do things to damage it or disrespect the people in it."

What I wrote wasn't a "hypothetical". It was a very real and very hurtful and very emotionally painful time in my life. It severely damaged relationships in my husband's family for several years.

IMO, Joreth's response, complete with sarcasm, was personal. It was hurtful. And it was unneccesary. Her (his?) points could have been made w/out the negative personal statements, whether addressed towards me or not.
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  #35  
Old 12-15-2009, 05:08 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Originally Posted by SeventhCrow View Post
She can clarify her intent. I'm simply pointing out that I read her statements entirely differently. The hypotheticals weren't aimed at you, they were simply support for her approach to both house guests and relationships--that rules aren't truly necessary if everybody is reasonable and willing to communicate.
This is how I received it too.

I should remind folks that if someone criticizes something that has been said, or attempts to augment an anecdote by adding their own experience or perspective on a similar situation, it does not mean that they are making judgments about the person who said it, or are drawing incorrect conclusions from erroneous assumptions.

Crisare, perhaps this thread is not the appropriate venue to work out your frustration about what's going on in your life? This thread was started especially to generate discussion and debate, and that is precisely what is happening. You might consider starting a thread in "Life Stories and Blogs" if this is something you're going through and would like support for it.

I understand where your defensiveness is coming from, and I'm here to tell you that as an outsider, I don't see that you've been the recipient of a personal attack. I realize that when one is still in the process of working through a rough spot, that these types of things can SEEM personal. However, it is not realistic to expect everybody to tailor their messages in such a way as to walk on eggshells to avoid offending all possible sensibilities.
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  #36  
Old 12-15-2009, 05:20 PM
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crisare crisare is offline
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Crisare, perhaps this thread is not the appropriate venue to work out your frustration about what's going on in your life?
You know ... I'm saying this quite calmly. It is very frustrating to feel that I was slapped at, and then to be told that I'm working out my "frustration about what's going on in my life" when you actually don't know a single thing about what actually *is* going on in my life. Ok, and I'm not saying that in anger or anything ... just as a statement of fact. It's a borderline insulting statement because it implies that my upset is irrational and driven from outside the forum, which it's not.

If you want to calm the waters, making assumptions about my life and what is happening in it, is not really the best way to do it.

Quote:
This thread was started especially to generate discussion and debate, and that is precisely what is happening. You might consider starting a thread in "Life Stories and Blogs" if this is something you're going through and would like support for it.
See above.

Quote:
I realize that when one is still in the process of working through a rough spot, that these types of things can SEEM personal.
See above.

The situation I referenced is something that happened 15 years ago and has since been resolved. Long resolved. But that doesn't change the fact that it was a valid situation at the time and there were many hurt feelings around it. The fact that it happened has played a large role in shaping my opinions and thoughts about relationships and "rules" ... and those opinions and thoughts are just as valid as anyone elses' here.

Quote:
I understand where your defensiveness is coming from, and I'm here to tell you that as an outsider, I don't see that you've been the recipient of a personal attack.
When one opens a post with the sentence "Here's a radical idea .. why not just communicate" when someone has said that a lack of communication can often be an issue ... that is, IMO, a borderline personal attack. If Joreth didn't want to put my back up from the get-go, then setting the tone for the post from the beginning with "Here's a radical idea" might not have been the best way to begin. Do you not agree?

Quote:
However, it is not realistic to expect everybody to tailor their messages in such a way as to walk on eggshells to avoid offending all possible sensibilities.
It is, however, realistic to expect that people would be sensitive when talking about sensitive issues; as in not starting their post with a rather sarcastic tone and then expect the rest of the post not to be interpreted as having a negative personal bent.

Last edited by crisare; 12-15-2009 at 05:23 PM. Reason: spelling errors
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  #37  
Old 12-15-2009, 05:40 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Originally Posted by crisare View Post
You know ... I'm saying this quite calmly. It is very frustrating to feel that I was slapped at, and then to be told that I'm working out my "frustration about what's going on in my life" when you actually don't know a single thing about what actually *is* going on in my life. Ok, and I'm not saying that in anger or anything ... just as a statement of fact. It's a borderline insulting statements because it implies that my upset is irrational and driven from outside the forum, which it's not.

If you want to calm the waters, making assumptions about my life and what is happening in it, is not really the best way to do it.

See above.

See above.

The situation I referenced is something that happened 15 years ago and has since been resolved. Long resolved. But that doesn't change the fact that it was a valid situation at the time and there were many hurt feeligns around it. The fact that it happened has played a large role in shaping my opinions and thoughts about relationships and "rules" ... and those opinions and thoughts are just as valid as anyone elses' here.

When one opens a post with the sentence "Here's a radical idea .. why not just communicate" when someone has said that a lack of communication can often be an issue ... that is, IMO, a borderline personal attack. If Joreth didn't want to put my back up from the get-go, then setting the tone for the post from the beginning with "Here's a radical idea" might not have been the best way to begin. Do you not agree?

It is, however, realistic to expect that people would be sensitive when talking about sensitive issues; as in not starting their post with a rather sarcastic tone and then expect the rest of the post not to be interpreted as having a negative personal bent.

My point is that this is NOT ABOUT "people making assumptions about your life". You injected an example drawn from your life and now you want, I don't know, validation for it or something.

This is not ALL about YOU. Just because you had an experience that is relevant does not make the whole thread subject to stroking your sensibilities. So what if someone assumed something that turns out to not be part of your original experience? This is not ABOUT you. Furthermore, you are not the only one who has ever had a falling-out with someone over a living arrangement. We're discussing something that is relevant to ALL of us. It is obvious that this is a sore spot for you, even if it is 15 years after the fact, but if that's the case, don't throw it out as an example if you don't want someone to expand on it. You are not going to change anyone's style of writing. People are allowed to comment about what they would do if they were in the same situation, which is what Joreth did. All the stuff about how she "implied" that you're a bad person and a rotten houseguest is YOUR baggage - I don't know either of you and I didn't see that anything got personal until AFTER Joreth's post, and that was on YOUR part. No, no one here knows every aspect of your life, every minutiae of everything that's ever happened to you, and the vast majority don't care to know. No one knows everything that's going on in everyone's life, ever.

Really, give yourself a break.

Moderators, please assist in getting this thread back on track. I'm only SPEAKING FOR MYSELF, but I was enjoying the discussion before it turned into "You don't know what I go through".
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  #38  
Old 12-15-2009, 05:43 PM
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crisare crisare is offline
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All right then ... let's get this thread back on track:

From Joreth's post:
Quote:
If a person honestly cares about his partner, is considerate and does things with his partner's best interests at heart, rules are unnecessary because he will want to be caring and considerate automatically.
I think this is naive. Two people (3 people, 4 people, whatever) can be caring and considerate and still miscommunicate. Or one persons idea of what is considerate could be hurtful to another - all unintentionally.

Open communication and boundaries from the beginning are the only things that really make sense, IMO.
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  #39  
Old 12-15-2009, 08:53 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by crisare View Post
From Joreth's post:
I think this is naive. Two people (3 people, 4 people, whatever) can be caring and considerate and still miscommunicate. Or one persons idea of what is considerate could be hurtful to another - all unintentionally.

Open communication and boundaries from the beginning are the only things that really make sense, IMO.
FIrst, I feel bad that you feel as if you've been attacked in this thread. I weighed in as soon as I saw it to offer a different perspective on the matter, and I fear I didn't communicate clearly that I do sense your pain. I hope you understand that we mods do care about our peeps here, and not just in the abstract. We have to judge things as objectively as we can, while at the same time we feel the pain of those involved in conflict. We much prefer to allow people the chance to work out conflicts through continued communication, instead of trying to "fix" things through moderator action.

To reply to your post: I'll agree with the first part of that--open communication from the beginning is the only thing that really makes sense. If there is a miscommunication, the best way to resolve it is further communication--a rule won't clear that up. If there is an unintentional hurt, communication is the best to resolve that--a rule won't clear that up.

And I'm all for rules governing relationships in which one is directly involved, if one needs that structure. I only object to rules aimed at controlling a relationship in which one isn't directly involved. (And this is with the caveat that I know humanity is quite diverse and what works for some won't for others. While I may be horrified at the idea, I don't think poorly of the people who seem to need that kind of rules.)

I don't have a set of rules to follow to reassure my wife that I'm with her for the long haul. She's constantly reassured because I find things that provide her with that sense of security on a daily basis--that's part of nurturing this relationship that I value so very, very much. No rules can replicate that nurturing, as far as I can tell. It's just a natural expression of the relationship.

Likewise, I get daily indications of the regard in which she holds me--no rules necessary. We don't have any specific rules that we have to follow for our direct relationship, so the thought of trying to place rules on how the other interacts with somebody else is both foreign to me and quite horrifying.

Indeed, one of the principles that we live by involves helping support and nurture those other relationships. This wasn't even something that we decided to do in the abstract, it's just something that we did naturally. When I was involved with L, Curly worked to support that relationship the same she did to support her relationship with me. If any "other" relationship could be said to be threatening, it's likely that one. L and I have known each other for much longer than Curly and I. L and I have a child together from a long ago liaison--and Curly won't be bearing any children. If one looks at an "other" relationship as a threat, I imagine that one would loom as a very, very large, hairy monster (with big, dripping fangs!).
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While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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  #40  
Old 12-15-2009, 09:43 PM
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Joreth Joreth is offline
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SeventhCrow & YGirl both have it spot-on in their analysis of my intent. This is not about YOU, Cisare. You used your experience with a live-in situation as an analogy (I understand that it wasn't hypothetical, but it was still an analogy), and I expanded the analogy even further.

The "been there, done that" comment meant, as they have both already said, that I HAVE been in that situation, I HAVE experienced living with people who didn't communicate & let things build up until it became unfixable, and now I know better and I choose not to let my relationships get to that point again.

I also tend to use the word "you" in most of my analogies, not to point at a specific "you", but in the 2nd person literary sense. It's less formal than "one" or "someone" and last time I used my more objective, formal style, people thought I was mad. It seems no matter which way I phrase things, some people want to think that I'm making my comments all about *them*, when it has less to do with them and more to do with using a particular comment as a springboard to expand or illustrate my own ideas.

I could just break in here with no connection at all to anyone else's posts prior to my own, but I would think that would seem a little jarring and disconnected to those reading it. This is supposed to be a dialog, isn't it? Am I not allowed to hear what someone said, formulate an opinion on it or use it to lead into my own thoughts?

No, thinking that communication is the place to start for all relationship problems is not naive. What's naive is thinking that if a person has a deep insecurity or lacks communication skills, that making a rule about that person's behaviour will bypass any negative fallout that stems from that insecurity.

Of course people can have the best of intentions and still miscommunicate. But if you start with the idea that your partner loves you and wants the best for you, you are less likely to wander off into hurtful accusations and assumptions that your partner is willfully doing the wrong thing by you. SeventhCrow has it right - the solution to a miscommunication is not making a rule - that only stops the communication. The solution is more communication to clarify the original miscommunication.

I'll even give a personal example. I have a bad shoulder and a sleep disorder. When I lay in bed, I have to lay on my left side. I explain this every time I get a new partner where sharing sleeping space becomes part of the relationship. So, between my shoulder and my sleeping issues, sex is best for me during the day, not right when I get into bed.

Now, I had explained all this to my most recent ex-boyfriend. So we went for about a year with me getting into bed and turning on my left side, which, because of the side of the bed he preferred meant that I turned my back to him, and falling into an exhausted sleep late at night. I discovered later that he does not approach relationships from the point of view that his partners love him and want to do their best for the happiness of all involved. He thinks of relationships as a struggle (he uses the word "minefield" and "battlefield" constantly when discussing relationships). So, since he started with the assumption that I was not on his side, he took my turning to my left side as a sign that I was figuratively turning my back on him, that I did not love him, that I did not want to have sex with him, that I was merely tolerating him. He kept his suspicions silent for almost 2 years and then broke up with me over it 2 days before Christmas. I had absolutely no idea that my sleeping position bothered him at all, let alone as a break-up offense, and by the time I found out and explained - again - that it was because of my bad shoulder and I would be happy to switch sides of the bed if that'll make him feel better, he had already decided that I did not love him.

There are 2 problems here. 1) if he had started from the position that I did, in fact, love him and desire him, he would be less likely to jump to the conclusion that sleeping on my left indicated that I didn't want him and 2) if he had started to suspect this anyway, communicating his concern to me early on could have easily solved the problem. There are a million things I could have done to reassure him, from telling him, to making more of an effort to be affectionate earlier in the day, to switching sides of the bed. Passing a rule that said I had to sleep on my right side or have sex at night even when I'm tired would not have solved the problem since the problem was not actually that I slept on my side, it was that he did not assume the best of his partner and he did not communicate his needs and wants in a manner that allowed me to show him that I had his best interests at heart.

It has been said several times now by various people, including Ceoli, the OP, that we are not talking about personal boundaries for an existing relationship like "keep me updated" and "we should maintain our regular date night when you start dating someone new", we are talking about rules that an existing couple places on the behaviour of/with a new partner, possibly even a person who does not yet exist, such as "I don't want you to develop strong feelings for anyone else but me, so if you start dating someone new, you will be limited to the number of hours you spend with her even though you haven't met anyone yet and she isn't here to give her own input on how much time she wants to spend with you".

Last edited by Joreth; 12-15-2009 at 09:46 PM.
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